Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
November 30, 2018
Afghan officials say clashes between two Taliban factions have killed dozens of militants in the country’s west.
Jilani Farhad, the spokesman for the governor of Herat Province, said at least 28 Taliban fighters were killed and 25 wounded in the Shindand district on November 30.
Hekmatullah Hekmat, the district’s head, said the clashes pitted fighters loyal to Taliban leader Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada against forces allied with Mullah Rasul, a former militant commander who leads a breakaway faction in western Afghanistan.
Mullah Rasul’s faction has been engaged in deadly clashes with fighters from the mainstream Taliban in southern and western Afghanistan since 2015, leaving scores dead on both sides.
Mullah Rasul is believed to receive arms and support from Afghan intelligence, which has attempted to divide the militant group.
The Taliban announced the death of longtime Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar in 2015.
But the Afghan government said Mullah Omar had died in the Pakistani port city of Karachi two years earlier.
Some Taliban commanders like Mullah Rasul accused the leadership of covering up Mullah Omar’s death and have not recognized subsequent leaders.
Based on reporting by Tolo News and Khaama
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